- (Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)
President Barack Obama has hit the lowest public approval ratings of his administration, according to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, dropping five points from a month ago, down to 42 percent.
The White House has had to deal with a number of major issues this past month in particular, notably with the government shutdown after Congress failed to agree on funding issues surrounding the Affordable Care Act, the revelation that the National Security Agency has allegedly been spying on a number of world leaders and U.S. allies, and the launching of the fiasco Health Care website, which has been plagued by a number of glitches and technical difficulties.
The NBC/WSJ poll, which was conducted Oct. 25-28 and surveyed 800 adults with a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points, found that there was no single issue to account for Obama's fall in the ratings.
"Personally and politically, the public's assessment is two thumbs down," said Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted the survey along with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.
While Obama's approval rating reached 42 percent, 51 percent of the respondents said they disapprove of the job he is doing as president, and seven percent were unsure. In January of this year, the numbers were almost reversed - 52 percent approved of the president, while 44 percent disapproved. The highest approval rating Obama ever reached according to the poll was in April 2009, when 61 percent of the public approved of the job he is doing.
Americans have also been losing faith in the system of government and how well it is working, with 30 percent saying they are generally optimistic about it, 28 percent were generally pessimistic, and 41 percent were uncertain.
As for the Health Care law, 37 percent in total currently think it is a good idea, while 47 percent indicated that it is a bad one.
Obama tried to assure the American people on Wednesday at a speech in Boston that the issues with the Health Care website will be fixed, and that it will benefit millions.
"There's no denying it, right now, the website is too slow, too many people have gotten stuck. And I am not happy about it. And neither are a lot of Americans who need health care, and they're trying to figure out how they can sign up as quickly as possible. So there's no excuse for it. And I take full responsibility for making sure it gets fixed ASAP. We are working overtime to improve it every day," Obama said.
"And more people are successfully buying these new plans online than they were a couple of weeks ago, and I expect more people will be able to buy conveniently online every single day as we move forward. We're going to get these problems resolved."